Because Houston is filled with talented, hardworking and likable music people, the odds are good that some of them might one day be mega-famous. We’re talking Beyoncé-like, better-get-a-bodyguard notoriety. From time to time, the Houston Press asks how our local favorites would handle such celebrity.
This might be a “you had to be there” moment, but it does illustrate two clear paths the very talented Gabe Bravo could take to superstardom. We ventured to 8th Wonder Brewery recently to see him drum for his longtime friend and bandmate, Dillon Trimm. During each song, Bravo did what he does behind the kit with unquestionable and genre-spanning skill. He might be backing Trimm’s soulful rock one night and delivering beats for Kyle Hubbard’s hip-hop stylings the next. At 8th Wonder, Bravo used his microphone to crack wise between songs all night. The brewery’s décor includes a quartet of matching outdoor space heaters which glow with fire when in use. Eyeing them, he casually shouted out to special guests in the audience — “Satan’s four penises.” Then he and Trimm were on to the next song.
Bravo broke into Houston entertainment circles as a drummer, but in the last few years he’s built an exciting career as a comic. He’s not only joined the ranks of notables leading a resurgence of Houston comedy, he’s become an advocate for them and touring comedians who visit. His weekly stand-up showcases include Wednesday’s $2 Bill at The Secret Group and GODDAMMIT! Thursdays at Avant Garden. His newest endeavor allows him to bring music and comedy together. It’s called Night Brunch and invites audiences to pay-what-you-can ($10 guarantees seating) for stand-up, live music and free food. That showcase is held Sunday evenings at Secret Group. He does all of this when he’s home and not touring with some of his comedy contemporaries.
In short, Bravo is a busy, busy person. One day, his talents may lead to dizzying success and at least one administrative assistant to boss around, but for now he was content to type out these responses to our prying questions.
Houston Press: You have (at least) two fast tracks to fame via music and comedy. Do you have a preference between which of these two vehicles drives you to dizzying fame?
Gabe Bravo: Comedy involves infinitely less equipment to lug around, though if I’m super famous, I guess I can just pay someone to set up [my] drums for me. You know, I bet that I could just pay someone to design a hologram that looks just like me and performs for me. Is money an object? Money’s not my motivation, but I need to know what kind of hologram budget I’d be working with.
Which Houston venue would host your first show as a super-famous version of yourself, and why? Which act would you choose to open the show?
Which venue has the most hologram-ready performance area? I want to ensure that I save money where I can, as I want the hologram to be realistic, and that takes a hefty budget. As far as openers, I’d like to use pre-made holograms to save some cash, so I say we go with Tupac and Princess Leia.
Incredible fame usually equals incredible money. What is the first thing you would buy yourself with your mega-riches?
The rights to use Tupac and Princess Leia, probably, I’ll need them. Well, shit. I guess it won’t really be cheaper to have them open for me. Do you know of any public-domain holograms? I guess I need to hire some kind of consultant that knows their hologram stuff.
First thing you buy someone else with your big bankroll?
Speech therapy for my buddy Ashton. He has a lisp, and a hacky joke about it, and I’m tired of hearing that joke. In fact, speech therapy for all of my friends with lisps! Well, unless you primarily speak Spanish, because people will just assume that you’re speaking in the Castilian dialect because you’re fancy and from Spain, and you super lucked out with that one.
Local act you would sign to your music or comedy label since you could run one or both as a globally known star?
Probably an alter ego that I’d invent specifically for this purpose. I plan to run this label on the Eddie Murphy movie model. Either that, or Ashton, but if he tells that fucking joke, I’m terminating his contract!
Name one well-known Houstonian who is not a musician or comic that you would add to your business team once you are spectacularly famous.
Anyone who can program me a hologram Biggie, just in case the hologram Tupac becomes self-aware. Hopefully, it doesn’t become an old lady who swallowed a fly situation, otherwise, I’ll be up to my neck in hologram gunmen.
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What local charity would you align yourself with as a famous and influential superstar and why?
I have a buddy named Chance who works for Red Sand Project, which is an organization that helps fight human trafficking. Houston is a hub for human trafficking, and it’s a huge problem. While I’m on the topic, Chance also wants me to plug Healthcare for the Homeless, which is one that he says is badass. As their name implies, they provide healthcare and dental work for homeless people. Sorry, no joke answer on this one, you pieces of shit!
When people ask how you became so famous, what would be your standard answer?
The truth: a gypsy cursed my worst enemy. It’s a long story, but essentially this guy I know got involved in this weird gypsy curse, and because of it, he got to make three wishes, but the catch is that I’d get anything he wished for two-fold. His first wish was to have one of his testicles removed, but the joke’s on him; when I was in the womb, I absorbed my twin brother, and the only thing that didn’t get absorbed were my brother’s testicles, so I ended up with extras. He tried to get rid of my testicles at the expense of one of his testicles out of spite, and he ended up saving me hella money on an operation I needed. LOL, what a fucking idiot. Anyway, it would take forever to explain.
Which famous peer would you bring home to Houston to meet friends and family?
Sentient Hologram Tupac. I’d like to show him to everyone before I have to hand him over to scientists, who will undoubtedly be forced to kill him in order to dissect/examine him and better understand how he became sentient. Science is a cruel, but necessary mistress.
Although you are talented, you still seem like a humble person. However, if there's anyone out there who you'd gloat to about your worldwide superstardom, who would it be?
Exes, people who have wronged me, anyone who has ever thought a negative thought about me before, my Biggie hologram when he becomes self-aware, the Nobel Committee after they revoke my prize (for my breakthrough in AI) because I caused the technological singularity and everyone is forced to live underground in hiding from the robots like in Terminator II, my manager at a Starbucks I worked at who told me that music would never pay the bills, etc.